This is a guest post by Rob Palmer,a blogger and online marketer who helps people escape the rat race and find financial, personal and location freedom.
Are you stuck in a job you hate? Do you spend your working days watching the clock crawl incredibly slowly around to five o’clock?
Yeah, I know…I’ve been there. And it’s no fun, right?
But the good news is that you don’t have to live that kind of life. In the amazing world that we live in today, you have a real opportunity to ditch the life you hate, and create a life you love.
They say that if you do a job you love, you will never have to work another day in your whole life. I know that is true, because I have experienced that change myself. I ditched my commuting/clock-watching world in cold, rainy London, and swapped it for a new life of surfing, BBQs and endless summer in Australia.
The good news is that you can do this, too. Because the technological revolution of the last decade or two has turned the world of work upside down. Now you really can follow your dreams, turn your passion into a career…and have a great deal of fun along the way.
A Great Time to be Alive
It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to live in such extraordinary times. For most of human history, life was little more than a struggle to survive. Any day that you didn’t get eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger was a good day. Things improved when civilizations evolved – but not by much. For most humans, life has always been tough.
Even today, the vast majority of people are living lives of what Henry David Thoreau called ‘quiet desperation.’ They spend their days toiling in jobs they hate, just so that they can pay their bills at the end of the month. Job satisfaction? Forget it.
But the exciting part of being alive today is that we can change that situation.
As many thousands of people have already discovered, today’s technology is the passport to a new and better life. One where you can do what you love, and get paid well to do it. A world where you work when you want, and take time off whenever it suits you.
All of that is possible, thanks to the Internet.
A Fast-Changing World
The advent of the Internet has truly brought about a revolution. It has turned penniless students into multi-billionaires (Google and Yahoo), and changed the way we live our daily lives (Amazon, eBay and Netflix). Companies that didn’t exist at the turn of the millennium are now worth hundreds of billions of dollars (Facebook).
But the world of big business is just part of the story. What’s much more interesting is the way that many thousands of ordinary individuals have been able to turn their passions into their business. And they have been able to do this without the need to invest large sums of money, or risk their homes on big loans.
Today, you can start an online business on a shoe string, and bootstrap it into a million-dollar money spinner.
And if you think that is an exaggeration, then check out these income reports from bloggers such as Michelle Schroeder, Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas. They are all regular guys and gals who have generated incomes of around a million dollars a year from simple online businesses.
A New Life in the Sun
In the world of the 21st century, there is a real opportunity to create the life of your dreams. I know this because I have done exactly this myself.
Back in the day, I was trapped in the world of the dull day job, spending three hours a day commuting to a job that bored me to tears. I wanted to move away from London’s miserable weather and choking traffic, but was trapped by the need to be close to my place of work.
All that changed when I launched my first website. Because writing is my passion, I launched a website for freelance writers. To my surprise, it took off and became very popular. After a few months, I added a paid membership area, and started making money. Within a year, I was making more from my website than from my full-time job.
So I quit.
I not only quit my job, I quit the country, too. Running an online business meant I could live anywhere I wanted. So I moved my family to Australia, and started a whole new chapter in our story living by the beach.
What a transformation! Now I was living a life that I truly loved. The Monday morning blues were gone forever. Every day, I was excited to start work in the morning, helping fellow writers and building my business along the way.
Better still, I only worked when I felt like it. When the kids came home from school at 3.30, I could join them for a swim in the pool, or take them surfing at our local beach. During the school holidays, I could take a day off to have fun with the family, then catch up with work in the evening.
Life was fantastic…and it still is! Although many years have gone by since my new lifestyle began, I still love it as much as ever. So now let’s look at how you can effect similar change in your life.
Minimal Investment Required
Not so many years ago, starting a business was an expensive and risky business. You needed substantial funds to invest in commercial property, stock, staffing costs and a whole raft of other business expenses. If things didn’t work out, you could be ruined financially.
That is no longer the case. Nowadays, you can start a blog with very little financial commitment. Spend ten bucks on a domain name, and a few dollars a month on hosting, and you are on your way.
Growing your business will take some hard work, for sure, and it won’t happen overnight. But if you are prepared to put in the time and effort, then you will reap huge rewards.
Turning Passion into Profit
The great benefit of an online business is that you can reach a global audience. So whatever your passion might be, you can be sure that there is an audience to tap into.
I know people who have built profitable online businesses around knitting, scuba diving, Thai cooking, playing pool, extreme sports and Pokémon Go.
Whatever it is that you love, you can be sure there is a whole tribe of people worldwide who share your interest – no matter how specialized that may be.
If you have a particular interest in a certain topic, then you have specialized information that people will pay for. You can create information products such as training courses, eBooks and membership sites. You can also make money from affiliate programs, advertising…or selling products direct from your website.
No Specialized Knowledge Required
When I started online marketing, it was hard! The tools and resources available were strictly limited, and building a business involved a lot of messy coding and technical knowledge.
Thankfully, that is no longer the case. If you can click a mouse, then you can build a profitable online business. Tools such as WordPress, PayPal and Shopify (their themes let you create professional looking online stores in minutes), have made it easy to sell products and get paid. It really never has been so easy to create a professional business presence.
Sharing Your Passion
Of course, you can choose to build an online business on any topic you want. But in today’s world, there are compelling reasons for choosing to base your business around your passion.
Firstly, there is the rise of social media, which can spread the word about your business like wildfire. For example, this blog post from Jon Morrow attracted no less than three million visitors. That could only happen in the world of social media.
If you blog about something you love, your passion will be infectious. People will engage with the content you create, and share it with their friends.
Secondly, if you blog about what you love, then Google will love you, too. This wasn’t true even five years ago. Then it was possible to fool Google with junk content and artificial links to get ranked for profitable keywords.
Recently though, Google has improved its algorithms and got tough on these spammers. Now low-quality sites sink to the bottom, while top-quality sites rise naturally to the top of Google. When you are writing about your passion, you are much more likely to create great content that attracts links and ranks on its own merits.
So as we have seen, there are lots of reasons why this is a fantastic time to follow your dreams. But how do you get started?
It’s not difficult. In essence, you need to follow three simple steps:
- Define what your passion is – the subject you would love to share with the world
- Start a website devoted to your topic
- Create awesome content for your website and tell the world about it
It used to be only princes and princesses in fairy tales who lived happily ever after. Not anymore. You have the freedom and the opportunity to follow your dreams, turn your passion into profit and live an amazing life.
All you have to do is start.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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